“For there is no partiality with God” (Rom. 2:11). Peter, a zealous Pharisee, educated in the Law of Jehovah, believed that strangers were unclean. Nevertheless, a Roman centurion by the name of Cornelius was charitable and continually prayed to God. God loved him and wished to evangelize him. He knew that Peter would refuse this task. He, then, gave Peter a fabulous vision: While Peter prayed, “He beheld the sky opened up, and a certain object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, ‘Arise, Peter, kill and eat!’ But Peter said, ‘By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean’” (Acts 10:11-14). This vision was repeated three times, so Peter understood that those that are unclean to Jehovah, are not unclean to the Father, for Jesus’ sacrifice is for all men, of all times “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). God, the Father, does not show partiality to people. Peter understood this and went on to preach in the house of the centurion. The result was that the Spirit came down from heaven over all that were there.
The Father is of all, for all, and to all. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 5:43-45). God, the Father, wants to save all men, good and bad, just and unjust, crippled or perfect, and so Paul says: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men” (Titus 2:11).
There in the mount of Calvary, there were three crosses. Jesus was crucified in the cross in the middle, between two criminals, to the left and to the right. Those two criminals were acknowledged evil-doers (Luke 23:39-41). Surprisingly, one of them looks to Jesus and says, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” (Luke 23:42). Jesus tenderly answered him, “Truly I say to you, today, you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). The evil-doer was a convicted criminal, having confessed his crimes, but it was only necessary for him to confess Christ as Lord, and he was saved. And why was he saved? He was saved because Jesus saves everyone that confesses him, whether they are convicted or not, for there is not partiality with Jesus.
Let us consider the great God Jehovah of the Old Testament. That God revealed himself to Moses in Mount Horeb as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying: “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry…So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians” (Ex. 3:1-8). According to the New Testament, where we read that God is love, and wants to save all men, Jehovah should have sent Moses to Egypt to speak of his love and his salvation, but this did not happen. Pharaoh and the Egyptians were treated as enemies of God. Jehovah, by the hands of Moses, chastised Egypt with terrible plagues, and every time that the Pharaoh’s heart softened, Jehovah hardened it (Ex. 7:3; 9:12; 10:1,20,27; 11:10; 14:4,8,17). If it were not for the hardening of Jehovah, Pharaoh would have turned to him (Ex. 9:27,28, etc.). The real truth is that the purpose of Jehovah was to destroy the Egyptians and to save Israel, allowing no chance of salvation to the Egyptians. What was the idea the Egyptians about the God of Israel? They thought that he was an unjust and partial God. Any evangelist that goes to Egypt to preach the love of God will be put to flight. To make things worse, Jehovah himself confessed that he made distinction between Israel and the Egyptians, “And all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the first-born of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the first-born of the cattle as well. Moreover there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again. But against any of the sons of Israel a dog shall not even bark, whether against man or beast, THAT YOU MAY UNDERSTAND HOW JEHOVAH MAKES A DISTINCTION BETWEEN EGYPT AND ISRAEL” (Ex. 11:5-7). Jehovah is partial, and that with an aggravator: Moses declared in the Law that Jehovah does not show partiality with people, in Deut 10:17. This statement in the Law is a false statement, for it says one thing, whereas Jehovah does something different.
There were ten peoples in Canaan, the Promised Land: the Kenites, the Kenizzite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Rephaim, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Girgazite and the Jebuzite (Gen. 15:19-20). These peoples did not know Jehovah. They should have been evangelized. If Jehovah were Jesus, he would have done this, for Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).
Those peoples did not know Jehovah, and were treated as enemies, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you…” (Num. 33:51-52). An aggravating fact about Jehovah’s behavior was that, instead of trying to save those peoples, Jehovah wished to destroy them, “There was not a city which made peace with the sons of Israel except the Hivites living in Gibeon; the took them all in battle. For it was of Jehovah to harden their hearts, to meet Israel in battle in order that he might utterly destroy them, that they might receive no mercy, but that he might destroy them, just as Jehovah had commanded Moses” (Josh. 11:19,20). Jehovah shows partiality, even among his chosen ones, for among the Levites, which ministered the priesthood, if any of them were lame, or had any defect, these were forbidden to minister (Lev. 21:17-22). Is a person guilty of being born physically imperfect? No. With Jesus, in the New Testament, things were very different. Jesus invited the perfect and the lame to sit at the table in the Kingdom of God. The perfect people did not want to come, and the crippled were the ones to enter (Luke 14:15-24). Jesus invites the rich and the poor into his kingdom. The rich think that the glory of money is worth more than the Kingdom of God, then the poor come in, and the rich people stay outside (Matt. 19:16-24; James 2:5). One thing should remain very clear: Jehovah showed partiality, but Jesus did not; they are not, therefore, in the same boat, and Jesus said, “He who does not gather with Me scatters” (Matt. 12:30).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira